Does anyone use a curriculum for their 3yo?

My youngest will be 3 next year and I am looking into my options for preschool. I definitely feel like I should start him on something more structured then.

All three of my older kids went to the private preschool down the road from us. I really loved it and so did the kids. However, I’m not sure how it would work now that we are homeschooling (loading all four kids up to drive him down, then disrupting our school work to pick him up again).

So I am looking into what I can do at home. I hate to use the word “curriculum” for a 3yo, but has anyone used one they like? Obviously, I am not looking for something strict and tedious. Just more of some guided activities to introduce “school.”

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We used a “letter of the week” for my then 3 year old. He really enjoyed sitting down and doing school, but he wanted to fly through all the activities and move on to all the letters all at once. He was annoyed that we would spend several days or a week on one letter. He also got bored doing similar activities, just for a different letter. So I stopped and changed my approach. I purchased a whole bunch of KUMON books and also print out free worksheets that work on specific skills… check out the following sites: COAH (of course!),,, He is a much happier kid, who is enjoying the variety of skills I have introduced him to. I also recently discovered, which is a company that puts together a curriculum for each age group (beginning with a baby level!). You can purchase a whole curriculum that they put together or just check out what each “grade level” contains and get ideas for what your child might like. Good luck!


I used a few ideas from I als pulled some fun things from sorry, I can’t make the links clickable on this device.

I have Heart of Dakota’s preschool curriculum “little hands to heaven”. My son isn’t quite 3 but he knows all of his letters so I went ahead and started him on HOD this year. Each week is a new letter (just like LOTW) but it also includes Bible stories, bible songs, finger plays, and other “get 'em up and moving” type activities.
So for this year I am using just HOD. I go through each week of activities and pull out the ones my 2 yo can do, and we do all of those in one day. We do that 2x a week. When we’ve completed the HOD curriculum doing this manner, we will switch to COAH’s LOTW for letters, numbers, shapes, etc and only use HOD for the Bible-related items. That’s thr plan.

Brand new the HOD curriculum can be a little on the expensive side (especially for preschool and especially if you get all of te materials suggested) but it’s fairly easy to find good deals for used ones on their facebook page (called Heart of Dakota Buy/Sell/Trade) or at


My 3 year old is about to turn 4…we’ll be doing “Letter of the week” by COAH & I’m debating between “Before 5 In A Row” or the age appropriate one from Heart of Dakota :slight_smile:

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I’m starting this now with 2 of my kids. It looks like a very nice and fun program!

I am a huge heart of Dakota Fanning. Been using it for 4 years. However, I am starting my two and a half year old with God’s little explorers and then moving on to ABC jesus loves me. after that, I am moving on to letter of the week curriculum by Erica and then into my father’s world kindergarten and then my heart of Dakota cycle beginning with little hearts for His glory.

I just started doing Abc Mouse with my almost 3 year old. She loves it and keeps her busy while I work with my other kids school

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I will be starting Erica’s LOTW this fall with my daughter (turns 3 in September). She already knows her letters and sounds but I like that’s it’s not super structured. It will help ease her into our new homeschool routine.

I did Erica’s LOTW with my 3 year old. He started reading a few months later. I will be starting again with my 2nd boy in July.

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I have purchased ABC Mouse, and I am doing unit studies with him. I have it outlined for tenative weeks but I let his interests lead a lot of our lessons with science. One week we studied stink bugs. We learned they hibernate and they have a lifespan of 70 days. It was fun and I loved how interested he was. We have workbooks for math and language arts that I purchased from target. We also have a nice thick pre-k prep workbook (its actually for 1st grade but reads like Pre-k in my opinion) that we bought for $10 at our local book store.

When my oldest was 3, the only thing we used was Sonlight’s P3/4 curriculum, which is mostly just a collection of great picture books and a little guide with some activities you could do along with the books. Very straightforward and simple. We didn’t start anything else until age 4, really. With my second, I started doing Confessions of a Homeschooler’s “Letter of the Week” (I specify because there are several different places that put out such programs). I didn’t do every activity, just a selection, but they’re fun and the kids like them.

It seems like the later kids want more school earlier, though. My current 4-year-old always wants more, more, more. One thing I like about the Letter of the Week activities is that I can set her up with an activity and then she can work on it independently for at least a couple of minutes, which lets me work with her sisters as they need it. She also has her own math and some Kumon books and such, but they require my assistance and so it can be harder to prioritize those and get them done regularly, even though she so desperately wants to “do school” like her big sisters.

Something else that I’m finding works well for setting her up with an activity and then letting her work on it independently is the “What Your Preschooler Needs to Know” activity books. There are two, one for ages 3-4 and one for ages 4-5. She’s doing the 4-5 one and that’s the only one I have experience with, but it’s a fantastic book, with lots of fun and varied activities. I just purchased (but haven’t received yet) the 3-4 one. Most of the reviews say that the 3-4 book is really most appropriate for older 2s or younger 3s, that it’s very simple, and that an older 3 or a 4 should just use the 4-5 book. So I’m not sure which would be appropriate for your 3-year-old, but they might be fun. The book “What Your Preschooler Needs to Know” can be done with them, but you can also just do the activity books. The regular book includes stories, science, art, math, and other things to read to your child or suggested activities to do with them.

For early learners, I also like the Kumon books, some of which are good for 3-year-olds. I like the ones on fine motor skills like cutting, folding, and pasting. I also like the ones with Alphabet Games and Number Games, as they’re fun and they really help with letter and number recognition. My kids adore these books. They’re not too expensive, either.

All About Reading, the pre-level 1, is also great at this age. It has a basic introduction to each letter, a fun craft to go with it, and it works on skills like rhyming, breaking words into parts, putting words together, recognizing the first sound in a word, things like that. I’d recommend that as a great pre-reading program for a 3-year-old, and I’d also recommend the program in general for learning to read.

Anyway, I don’t think a 3-year-old needs curriculum. I think they need great classic children’s books, activities like coloring and cutting, and a gentle introduction to the alphabet and numbers. But I think it’s fine to do a curriculum if you feel like you need more guidance, you won’t get to it otherwise, or your child is begging for “school” and you want something to give her.


Rather than start a new post-I hope its okay if I jump onboard with your question. I am also looking at a “curriculum” for my almost 3 year old, she is a voracious learner. We started “tot school” at 1 and since then have worked through all colors, shapes, numbers 1-20 and she knows most of her letters and letter sounds. She loves her “school time” and while I love the LOW curriculum I have an 11 month old with chronic health issues. Our tot school time has suffered as a result I don’t have the time or energy to print and laminate. I feel bad because my oldest is always asking to do school work and I feel like I am letting her down. I read as much as possible to both the girls, we do puzzles and counting activities etc, but I would like to get back on track with a little bit more of the structured work that she enjoys. I want to finish re-enforcing all the letters and sounds, then I guess move on to reading. I don’t want to push her, but I want to embrace this love of learning she has.

In follow-up to the suggestions provided- is there anything more “out of the box” than LOW. My daughter liked the LOW activities, but right now I don’t have the time for all the lamination and printing. I have checked out timberdoddle, while they are some great learning tools-I don’t think they are as structured as my daughter likes.

I have considered All about Reading and I also saw an old post on COH about ABeka. Does anyone have any advice one on over the other? Or any other suggestions?

Thank you in advance.

We use A Beka for the preschool years, for the 2s and 3s there are very simple books for them to work on, and it makes them feel like they do school, too. Which I let them do as they are interested only. For the 3 yo there is a book in which they learn the letters and they gkue things on the letters to learn how to “write” them, then they start tracing the letters with crayons.
Also, Rod&Staff has a really sweet collection of books for Preschool.
But, I have to say that, although I do these with them, I have found that at this age the most beneficial of things that I do with them are singing (I love A Bekas K5 CD), playing certain games, talking, showing them different things outdoors, baking together, doing lots of crafts -Lots!, cleaning together, building, all of the things that allow them to interact with new things and tried and true ones also. They love puzzles, and things of the like.
I give them memory verses although I don’t expect them to memorize these but they do it anyway because they desire to, we sing hymns all day long, we say the letters of the alphabet here and there and they remember those so easily, we count objects, we just learn as we go. And the books are just an addition to what we do, and it has been better this way.
God bless and inspire you :slight_smile: that’s the key.